In response to posts I’ve written about my kids doing chores but not receiving an allowance, and about them needing to get jobs if they actually want to earn some money, I’ve been accused of…everything from exploiting them to robbing them of their childhood. (There was also the person who commented, “Way to enforce Jewish stereotypes”). I’ll admit, despite having a general case of ridiculously over-inflated self-confidence, I was starting to doubt my decisions. What if the naysayers were right? What if I was putting too much pressure on… >> Read More
The other day I told my first-grader to find a book for us to read at home. He went to his bookcase and pulled out ”My Five Senses,” in which a little boy learns about each of his senses and…what they do. That night at dinner, he asked, “Mommy, did you have senses when you were a kid?” I told him I did. “What did it smell like?” I told him that was a nonsense question and I couldn’t answer it, because being a kid doesn’t smell like anything. Smells belong to things, not… >> Read More
This excerpt has been adapted from the author's recent memoir, "The Book of Separation."
In my parents’ backyard in Memphis, where my three kids and I go to take a break from the Passover…preparations being made in the kitchen, we pile into the hammock. It’s early April, and the azalea bushes are in bloom, along with the lacy white dogwood trees. Spring is the prettiest time of year to be in Memphis, when the blazing summer days still seem like misremembered exaggerations. The school year is winding down,… >> Read More
When I was a new mom, I adored BabyGap. The whole concept was brilliant: Dress your babies in clothes that you would wear, only smaller. The simple fact that these clothes were so small made them…cute. When my son was a baby, I dressed him in BabyGap argyle socks and BabyGap soft knit winter hats — the ones with the earflaps on them. He also wore BabyGap khaki pants that looked just like the ones my husband wore, only the baby ones had snaps down the legs to make diaper… >> Read More
I once read an article in which a wedding coordinator said that planning the big day for a couple of 40-year-olds is very different than planning one for 20-somethings. Twenty-somethings want to…party, the coordinator explained, and 40-somethings want to celebrate. That’s a generalization, to be sure, but that observation has stuck with me. When I got married at 27, my overall world view was one of innocence. I expected things to work out, for life to be the smooth ride it had almost always been. Then… >> Read More